Monday, October 04, 2010

Top 20 Wildstorm Comics, featuring Zander Cannon

Comic Book Resources, in memory of the now-defunct (though continuing as part of DC) Wildstorm line of comics, has ranked the top 20 books released through the imprint. Not surprisingly, Alan Moore is well-represented, but as it happens, so am I! No fewer than 3 titles (Smax, Top 10, and Tom Strong*) that I worked on appear in this list.

15. "Smax," by Alan Moore and Zander Cannon

The stoic Jeff Smax from "Top 10" turns out to come from a fairytale world and Moore and Cannon are brave enough to show it. Completely different in look and tone from "Top 10," this series is a lot of fun, kind of an Alan Moore-doing-"Shrek" story, though with more humanity than that might imply. It's apparently been compared to "Fables," and it does bear some superficial resemblances, but then this is "Fables" done with more wit and charm. It reads smarter and doesn't get in its own way as it tells its story.

10. "Tom Strong," by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse

There's a coldness to this series that it never quite shakes, and Alan Moore doesn't write all the issues - though his tend to be the best, of course. But that doesn't make this comic any less impressive as a high-wire adventure comic full of super-science and family and dimension-hopping and worlds of wonder. Tom Strong is Doc Savage mixed with Tom Swift mixed with whatever else is on Alan Moore's mind. Out of all the comics on this list, I think this is the one that will most grow in esteem as the years march on.

4. "Top 10," by Alan Moore and Gene Ha

Though this series was promoted as a simple "what would cops be like in a world in which everyone had super-powers," it immediately established itself as a strong ensemble series about a group of well-defined characters. That they were visually interesting only helped. That Gene Ha hid panel after panel of Easter eggs featuring characters from every era and genre only made it more interesting. That Alan Moore takes all this and then uses it to comment on comic book absurdities while still making the characters feel real - that makes it astonishing.


* I did layouts for Tom Strong #7. And Kevin worked on Smax #1 as my intern in 2001!

Thanks to the also-well-represented Gene Ha for the tip!

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